Adding scientific names: requirement to include a note is burdensome

Adding names to a taxon now requires adding a note with each name, which I assume is mostly intended to help deal with unverifiable common names and so on. However, this also applies to scientific names. While this has been requested as a feature (and declined) to help track the authority behind synonymies it can potentially be fairly burdensome. When I create a new taxon, in response to a flag, say, I like to try to add synonyms to reduce the likelihood someone will accidentally create the same taxon under an older name. Having to write a note for each obsolete scientific name adds considerably to that workload.

I am curious as to whether other curators are finding this burdensome, and whether we should consider modifying this feature.

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When this happens to me, I just c/p the URL of whatever source has the scientific name. I don’t find it all that burdensome, though admittedly it doesn’t happen all that often.


That would be my approach too, and possibly including also the URL of the relevant flag if there was discussion or deviation involved. I haven’t had to add a bunch of synonyms since this was implemented, but I think an extra Ctrl-V before saving each one could become fairly routine.


This is similar to the approach I use for curating revisions that involve several grafts and swaps. I make a single block text that explains and sources each part of taxon change (e.g. grafting genera to tribes, populating missing genera, adding synonyms for species commonly referred to under a different name, etc.) and copy paste for each change.


I find it burdensome for taxa with more than maybe 2 synonyms. E.g. with POWO open, ctrl-c taxon name (so I don’t make a typo), go to iNat Taxon tab, ctrl-v name, go back to POWO tab to ctrl-c the URL for the synonym, go back to the iNat taxon tab, ctrl-v. It’s ok for one synonym but the back-and-forth for taxa that have many synonyms is tedious


Agreed. If the intent was to prevent bogus common names from being added, it’s affecting a lot more than that, and adding workload for curators who want to be thorough.

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Yes, thank you. I try to be a good curator and add synonyms when I add a new taxon, but this extra burden is very significant and creates a direct incentive not to do a good job of curation.

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Perhaps instead of removing the comment/source requirement, a better solution would be to allow adding synonyms during taxon creation. If a bunch of synonyms share the same source one could then just c/p the source in each field instead of doing it spread out over different pages.


This seems reasonable.

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